Florida program uses horses to make reading fun (US)

By JIM ROBINSON

Unique program uses horses to encourage kids to read in Davie.  Here Gersheron stands before Apache holding a book and reading from a page she says out loud, 'Little Black called, please come back.'
Unique program uses horses to encourage kids to read in Davie. Here Gersheron stands before Apache holding a book and reading from a page she says out loud, 'Little Black called, please come back.'

It’s a unique approach to spreading literacy to elementary students. The Cooper City Rotary Club and South Florida Trail Riders are using horses.

Cory Gersheron is a first grader at Flamingo Elementary. She’s got her day planned out. “We’re going to have a snack, it’s going to be delicious and then I think we’re going to read our favorite page to the horses,” Gersheron exclaims.

The book Gersheron and her classmates are reading is called, “Little Black, A Pony.” Elementary students are at the Bergeron Rodeo Arena in Davie to work with real horses, and learning new words along the way. The goal is to get first graders reading as early as possible.

Nick Coffin has been organizing the event four years now. He tells CBS4 Mobile Journalist Jim Robinson, “They really start to sit down and read in first grade, and then they’re tested at the third grade level to see how far they’ve come.”

Coffin knows working with the horses also builds self-confidence, especially when learning how to read. Teachers tell CBS4 many first graders are nervous reading in front of the class. But letting them read to a horse? That’s a whole other story. Read full story and view video >>

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